May 22, 2010

Robyn, again

Last month I wrote about how much I love Robyn's new single Dancing On My Own. The conceit of the song - alone in a crowd, forever not getting what she wants - is a running theme in Robyn's music, but she does melancholia so well.

Sometimes a video can ruin the mood of a song, as it fails to visually express an emotion, but the Dancing On My Own clip perfectly captures the lyric's tone of alienation. As usual for a Robyn video, it's loaded with details: the sliced edits which make her seem a bit jerky in the "fashion" shots, the snaggle tooth, the dress with leather shoulders, the haircut (in particular how it looks when shot from behind her head), the scenes where she "makes out" with herself, and the great moment near the end where she doesn't exactly relent to dancing as much as work out her shit on the dancefloor. It still makes me want to cry.

I am not, however, as enamored with Body Talk Part I ep. At the point when she should follow up the perfect Robyn with an even better album, she dissipates the energy by releasing what amounts to a set of songs clumped together. There are some very good tunes (the lyric to Hang With Me is sublime), but it doesn't seem terribly original and certainly not cohesive. If she sticks to her plan and releases Part 2 this summer - I wouldn't bet on it - we can just configure the album we want, which is forward thinking.

I don't ever discount Robyn's ability to make an artistic pop album or her integrity. Body Talk is not what I'd wanted from her, but I'll always listen. And again, Dancing On My Own is exactly the kind of vulnerability missing from pop music right now.

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